Uncategorized

#IWSG Bodies in the Boatyard by @Ellen__Jacobson 5 Star Review #cozymystery

Happy Holidays, writers! Time for the Insecure Writers Support Group, hosted by Alex Cavanaugh.


Thank you to this month’s co-hosts:

J.H. Moncrieff, Tonja Drecker , Patsy Collins, and Chrys Fey

Fall is my busiest time at work so I’ve focused more on my day job than on writing lately. But, I did submit a short story for consideration in an anthology, and I applied for a writing festival.


I’d like to share my review for fellow IWSG author’s latest release, Bodies in the Boatyard. Congratulations to Ellen Jacobson for her engaging cozy mystery series!



Bodies in the Boatyard (A Mollie McGhie Cozy Sailing Mystery #2)Bodies in the Boatyard by Ellen Jacobson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Panda Bear on the Case

I continue to enjoy the integration of murder mystery, sailing science, chocolate cravings, and frisky felines in the Mollie McGhie series, which takes place in a small Florida boating community.

In book two, Mollie’s husband, Scooter, has moved on from calling her Sweet Potato to Panda Bear, and Mollie appreciates not being referred to as a root vegetable anymore. Their dilapidated boat has sprung a leak, so she gets hauled to the boatyard for repairs.

Conflict among Mollie’s Coconut Cove neighbors, along with an illegal poaching ring, lead to dead bodies piling up. Who finds these bodies? Mollie, of course–much to the consternation of the police chief. If Mollie weren’t so cute and good-hearted, she might get in trouble for her meddling! She is also lucky to have a feline mini-sleuth at her side, the adorable Mrs. Moto, to help her solve crimes.

I like clever boat names like The Codfather, and Mollie’s incessant sweet tooth that never stops scheming for sugar. There are also some fun jabs at extreme environmentalists who seem to value the environment more than human life.

I look forward to book three in the series!

View all my reviews
Uncategorized

THE REDEMPTION OF EMMA DEVINE by @Nancee_Cain #Review #Giveaway

The Redemption of Emma Devine
by Nancee Cain
Series: Pine Bluff, #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Designer:  Shannon Lumetta
Photographer:  Chantell Reid
Release Date: October 19, 2017



After the upheaval of being dumped by his girlfriend, David Patterson leads a quiet life as a high school teacher in the small Southern town of Pine Bluff, Alabama. Soon to enroll in seminary, his dreams are within his grasp.

But a chance encounter with Emma Devine changes everything. She’s on the run, desperate, and surviving by any means possible. His pastor’s heart longs to help her—and the rest of him is rather intrigued as well.

His random act of kindness brings them together, but Emma makes an unfathomable decision—one that threatens to destroy two lives, though her intention is to save one.

Four years later, Emma returns, seeking redemption. But can David—whose dreams took a very different course after their last meeting—forgive her and risk losing everything?








The Redemption of Emma Devine (A Pine Bluff Novel, #2)The Redemption of Emma Devine by Nancee Cain
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Redemption in the Arms of a Good Man

In book one of the Pine Bluff series, The Resurrection of Dylan McAthie, David Patterson was the third wheel in a love triangle. Therefore, I didn’t root for him. He was a goody-two-shoes almost preacher who paled in comparison to the glittery rock star, Dylan.

But David shines so bright in this story! His integrity makes me swoony. He saves Emma’s life and is a guiding force behind her redemption.

David first encounters desperate Emma when she shoplifts peanut butter. He tries to help her, but then she shoplifts his heart. When she returns years later, can he forgive her crime?

I felt heartbroken for David when Emma’s actions ended his career dreams. The fact that he enacts kindness like saving a photo of Emma for Kensington is evidence of his pure, loving heart. The way he calls Emma “honey” is so endearing. It’s also awesome when he stands up to his mother assertively and respectfully.

And David sees the good in others, especially Emma:

“Your lovely eyes haunt me. They always have. These eyes have witnessed more of the disgusting, atrocious side of this world than I can imagine, yet they still reflect goodness and compassion. They still light up when they see those they love.”

The characters, conflicts, and communication difficulties all feel genuine in this story, and their resolution leaves a deep satisfaction. Just like in the first book, there’s Southern charm and fun humor, like the two “For Dummies” books owned by Emma and David.

Can’t wait for the next Pine Bluff novel! Excellent writing.

View all my reviews




Paperback:  Amazon



During the day, Nancee Cain works as a nurse/counselor in the field of addiction to support her coffee and reading habit. Nights are spent writing paranormal and contemporary romances with a serrated edge.

Authors are her rock stars, and she’s been known to stalk a few for an autograph, but not in a scary, Stephen King way. Her husband swears her To-Be-Read list qualifies her as a certifiable book hoarder.

Always looking to try something new, she dreams of being an extra in a Bollywood film, or a tattoo artist. (Her lack of rhythm and artistic ability may put a damper on both of these dreams.)






Uncategorized

New Release & Review: THE RESURRECTION OF DYLAN MCATHIE by @Nancee_Cain

The Resurrection of Dylan McAthie
by Nancee Cain
Series: Pine Bluff, #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover DesignerShannon Lumetta
Release Date: June 1, 2017

At seventeen, music legend Dylan McAthie ran away from his Alabama home to chase his dreams. Years later, he’s forced to return—coming full circle to escape the nightmare his life has become. Hounded by paparazzi and plagued by the aftermath of personal and professional loss, Dylan craves some quiet anonymity so he can regroup and sort out what lies ahead.

Hired by his estranged brother, Jennifer Adams knows exactly who Dylan is. She grew up next door to his family and has followed his career. But the surly, overbearing man she’s caring for as a private-duty nurse is far from the charming boy she remembers. Nevertheless, she’s determined to be professional, do a good job—and not fail at her first time getting away from home.

As her patient heals, his demeanor softens, and their interactions grow less antagonistic. Soon their chemistry is undeniable—and inappropriate—leaving the inexperienced Jennifer thoroughly confused. Adding to the turmoil, scandal finds Dylan once again, threatening all the progress he’s made and putting Jennifer at risk as collateral damage.

It’s up to Dylan to fix what his fame has so easily broken and find a way to move forward with his life. But will his resurrection mean the death of any relationship with Jennifer?


The Resurrection of Dylan McAthieThe Resurrection of Dylan McAthie by Nancee Cain
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

He Lives?

After falling for Nancee Cain’s spunky heroines and complex heroes in her supernatural novels, I was excited to learn she wrote a contemporary romance. She sticks to her Southern settings in this story, which takes place in Pine Bluff, Alabama.

Dylan McAthie is a rock star who has fallen on hard times. The lead singer of his band as well as his pregnant ex-girlfriend have died from drug overdoses. He’s alienated from his family. And, he has sustained severe physical injuries from a car accident.

Enter nurse Jennifer Adams, ten years his junior. The fact that Dylan’s physician brother hired her does not endear her to Dylan. She bears the brunt of his misplaced anger for his screwed-up life.

I was intrigued and amused as the two sassed each other and got under each other’s skin. It’s quite a case of opposites attract. I also was horrified by something that happened to Jennifer.

The church old bitties are a lot of fun! Jennifer has to deal with being the preacher’s daughter, which makes it hard for her to find her own path. I liked her awesome nursing skills how she handled the situation with David.

There are plenty of obstacles and misunderstandings between Jen and Dylan. Jen becomes a bit ditzy due to some events that happen to her, and Dylan constantly takes one step forward and two back. At times he’s thoughtful (like with the amethyst ring) and at times he’s self-absorbed. He’s not sure if he wants to be a good guy or bad guy, and he often hovers somewhere in between.

I would’ve liked to know more about Dylan’s music. What inspired him to learn to play guitar? How’d he go from a local home-grown band to international rock stardom?

I think I also wanted more healing for Dylan to consider this a true resurrection. It’s realistic that he keeps returning to cigarettes and booze (preventing resolution of conflict with Jennifer) but it frustrated me all the same. When he starts treating Jen with sweetness, I felt a little taken by surprise.

I look forward to the next novel in the Pine Bluff series!

View all my reviews

During the day, Nancee Cain works as a nurse/counselor in the field of addiction to support her coffee and reading habit. Nights are spent writing paranormal and contemporary romances with a serrated edge.

Authors are her rock stars, and she’s been known to stalk a few for an autograph, but not in a scary, Stephen King way. Her husband swears her To-Be-Read list qualifies her as a certifiable book hoarder.

Always looking to try something new, she dreams of being an extra in a Bollywood film, or a tattoo artist. (Her lack of rhythm and artistic ability may put a damper on both of these dreams.)

Uncategorized

WHEN IT HOLDS YOU by @NickiElson3D #Romance #Review #IWSG


Happy Insecure Writers Support Group, hosted by Alex Cavanaugh! Join us HERE.


November’s Question: What’s your favorite aspect of being a writer?

For me, it’s the warm, supportive author community. I’m blessed writing has brought me closer to quality people like my critique partner, Nicki Elson. Which leads me to…

Today I celebrate fellow IWSG author Nicki Elson’s new release: WHEN IT HOLDS YOU!

~.~.~
WHEN IT HOLDS YOU has been selected as a TOP PICK at The Romance Reviews!

“Nicki Elson has become my MUST read new contemporary romance author! The sex is hot, but the emphasis is on emotions in this book. They really are made for each other.”
~The Romance Reviews
~.~.~

WHEN IT HOLDS YOU


Virtual. That’s where she was supposed to stay—only in my online gaming life. I never intended to meet up with her in person. And I certainly hadn’t counted on her being who she is.

Cliff Walsh has dozens of hot, smart, and willing paramours in his video games. Who needs to look further? The twenty-eight year old attorney is done getting his heart smashed by real-life women who fit his perfect-mate checklist. From now on, he vows to keep his romances digital-only…until a certain redheaded gamer twists all his preconceptions and touches a place in his heart he didn’t know existed.

I always thought I knew what love would look like, but sometimes you don’t recognize it until the moment when it holds you. ~Cliff

WHEN IT HOLDS YOU is a stand-alone novel in The It Series family.

Other titles in the series:
WHEN IT HOOKS YOU, a Top Pick at The Romance Reviews
WHEN IT HITS YOU, coming January 2017

~.~.~
Here’s my 5 star review:

When It Holds YouWhen It Holds You by Nicki Elson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cliff Can Hold Me Anytime

Attorney Cliff Walsh is cute, funny, and smart. He’s also tired of women yanking his chain. Chain-Yankers such as tantalizing Trish (the heroine of When It Hooks You) lure him in but end up with other men. Cliff has no choice but to turn to the voluptuous virtual women found in video games.

One such woman, PlanetClaire, intrigues him. In the computer world, she has fiery red hair and alluring curves. Cliff and Claire partner together on screen to battle villains and solve riddles.

The riddles in this story are quite fun! For example, a serpent hisses, “All you have to do is correctly answer a riddle. For only the clever are allowed inssside” then proceeds:

It’s what you want above all things.
Some fulfill it with vows and rings.
For some it’s not an easy fit.
Some are content to sleep with it.


Hmm, what could “it” be? They say working together to achieve a common goal can forge a tight bond, and Cliff and Claire have a virtual blast together. They decide to take their chemistry offline and meet at a gaming convention. When Claire reveals her identity, MY JAW DROPPED!

Claire has some major self-esteem issues that stand in the way. But Cliff has many talents, including snuggling.

description

Too bad he can’t make it all better for Claire. I love that this book is from a male perspective. Cliff won my heart and I wanted to hug him when his romance woes continue.

Karen said, “I’ve seriously had to stop myself from offering you concealer stick to hide those dark shadows under your eyes. What did she do to you?”

“Nothing that hasn’t been done before.” He tapped the edge of the file he held onto his desk, eager for the conversation to end.

Aww. I’ll snuggle with you, Cliff. The characters feel real and the resolution of the story well-paced. And the humor of the series continues with comments like “That shit’s mine now” when Claire describes Cliff to Trish.

The It Series is fantastic! I encourage you to check out all three books: When it Hits You (coming in 2017), When it Hooks You, and When it Holds You (October, 2016).

View all my reviews

~.~.~


Nicki Elson writes spicy fiction with a sweet and dreamy center. She does other stuff, too…like obsess over Survivor and The Bachelor (and she’s not ashamed to admit it).

Writing fiction wasn’t something Nicki set out to do; it just sort of happened when she realized writing reports was by far her favorite part of her investment consulting position. She traded stock allocation and diversification for story arcs and dialogue and now weaves creative writing into her life with her family in the Chicago suburbs.



~.~.~

Uncategorized

USE SOMEBODY by @BeckAndersonID #5Star #Review #Romance


USE_SOMEBODY_BOOK_TOUR.jpg


USE_SOMEBODY_LIVE.jpg
Use Somebody is Beck Anderson’s
newest Hollywood standalone!


Now Available!



use somebody cover.jpg
Blurb
Jeremy King, Hollywood über-agent to the stars, knows that sharks gotta swim. He’s one of them, after all. He’s never met a deal he couldn’t strike or an argument he couldn’t win. LA is his kind of town—they both never stop moving.


So when his friend and client, movie star Andrew Pettigrew, invites him on a “man-cation” to the wilds of Idaho for a little fly-fishing, Jeremy’s not so sure. He might not have cell service. There’s no way there’ll be any supermodels to woo. And his idea of the great outdoors is a drive down the Pacific Coast Highway in his Tesla Model S—moose definitely do not factor into the picture.


Fitting then that because of a moose, he meets Macy Shea Summerlin, the best fly-fishing guide on the South Fork. Jeremy’s surprised and tantalized, but Macy isn’t having any of his alpha male posturing. She gives as good as she gets, and she knows how to throw a mean right hook.


As the two of them get tangled up in each other’s lives, both Jeremy and Macy must come to terms with winning and losing and letting love in. And Jeremy has to find the answer to his own question: Is he simply “using” Macy or could he really “use” someone like her? Find out in Use Somebody, book 3 of the Fix You series.


use somebody pic quote 4.jpg


Review

Use SomebodyUse Somebody by Beck Anderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I Hope It’s Gonna Make You Notice…

…Someone like me, thinks Jeremy, super agent to the stars. He’s all about wooing supermodels in Los Angeles. Here he shares his methods for getting his woo on:

I can tell you how to get a woman in bed. You tell me what she likes, I’ll tell you the way into her boudoir. Is she a Midwestern girl? I bet she loves football. Find out her favorite team, fly her to their stadium, invite her dad, get a meet and greet. Ka-ching. You will score.

*jaw hangs open* This Midwestern girl is TOTALLY swooning!

But when his friend/client Andy takes him on a fishing trip on the waters of Idaho, Jeremy is out of his depth. He can’t drive his Tesla along the PCH (what a snob) and cell phone service is spotty (*gasps*). He’s so irritable he almost comes to blows with Andy’s other friend, Todd.

When Jeremy meets elite fly-fisherwoman, Macy, he definitely takes notice. She’s not impressed by him, and sasses him right back. The more she plays hard to get, the more he’s intrigued. Men.

I like the backstory of what made Jeremy so driven and ball-busting. His musings are a pleasure to read, like his insight into fake social media:

I’m sorry, but I’m not a big believer in the “here I am having a snow cone, oh look I just snapped a pic of it in the light of the sunset while I happened to be wearing a fashionable floppy hat” kind of bullshit.

…and his belief that “talent is sexy”:

Listen, hot girls are one thing, but a good-looking woman who is gifted at something? That is pure sex. Have you ever watched a really good female bartender? That is hot. So is a pilot, or a musician, or a painter, or a glass blower, or, gee, I don’t know, a fly fisherwoman.

Andy’s wife Kelly tells Jeremy, “I find you lovable but mildly disgusting because of your general lack of moral compass.”

Can Jeremy find a better sense of moral direction and land the big fish(erwoman)? Stay tuned in this delightful third book of the Fix You series.

View all my reviews


About the Author:

square beck poc.jpg


Beck Anderson is a two-time Rita© finalist and author of four novels including the Fix You series and The Jeweler. She’s also a wife, a mom, an educator, and a walker of a small, bossy dog-slash-evil genius.


GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

THANK YOU!

TRSOR_PROMOTIONS.jpg
Uncategorized

WHEN IT HOOKS YOU by @NickiElson3D #Contemporary #Romance #New #Release #Review

Title: When It Hooks You
Author: Nicki Elson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Three dates. It was only supposed to be three dates—he was only meant to be a fling. I didn’t want to feel all of this for him. And I certainly hadn’t counted on him keeping such a deal-breaking secret from me.

Till death is too long for Trish Cerise. The twenty-seven year old receptionist is tired of men asking for her forever when she just wants to keep things light and fun. World-traveling businessman Adam Helms steps off the elevator and into her life with his own reasons for keeping relationships at a safe distance. Together, they’re destined for the most glorious short-term romance in history…until they break their own rules and Trish learns something about Adam she wishes she never knew.

I know a future with him is impossible, but how do you break away from such an intense, consuming, heart-crushing love when it hooks you?  ~Trish

When It Hooks YouWhen It Hooks You by Nicki Elson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hooked on Nicki Elson‘s Books!

At age 27, law firm receptionist Trish is tired of the dating scene. She’d turned down a marriage proposal from her boyfriend Kurt, but when she thinks he’ll ask again, this time she plans to say yes.

When Kurt instead dumps her, Trish comes up with a new idea: she’ll only go on three dates with any guy. After three dates is where the heartache starts. What could possibly go wrong?

Cliff is a college friend who’s also an attorney at her law firm. (I happen to love Cliff and can’t wait for his story, coming next.) Trish mistakenly thinks Cliff is gay and tries to set him up with a guy. The gay guy is suspicious about Trish matching up with a lesbian on their double-date.

“You’ve got ‘I love dick’ written all over you. You might as well wear a T-shirt proclaiming it.”

Trish’s mouth opened wide in a silent gasp.

“See?” James pointed at her lips, his finger rotating. “The perfect shape and size. You know what you want in there.”

Cliff has the hots for Trish, but she’s more intrigued by stylish businessman Adam, a client at the firm. Adam overhears Trish’s three date max plan and their flirtation begins.

When Adam takes her on a dreamboat third date, including a surprise candlelit dinner on a yacht on the Chicago River, she’s definitely impressed.

“Does this look like a good spot to drop anchor?”

“Perfect. You seriously should get a job planning dates for The Bachelor.”

Trish and Adam develop feelings for each other that transcend the three-date limit. She wants to make an exception for him, but he may be unable to veer off their careful plan due to his secret past.

I definitely enjoyed this contemporary romance, and can’t wait for the next book in the series.

View all my reviews

Nicki writes spicy fiction with a sweet and dreamy center. She does other stuff, too—like obsess over reality TV. Writing fiction wasn’t something Nicki set out to do; it just sort of happened when she realized writing reports was by far her favorite part of her investment consulting position. She traded stock allocation and diversification for story arcs and dialogue and now weaves her creative writing time in with the other activities of her busy life with her family in the Chicago suburbs.

Author Links:
Buy Link: Amazon: http://amzn.to/1UxX0Eh#Free with #KindleUnlimited

“Do you miss him?” Adam asked.
“The ex-boyfriend who lives here? At times, I guess.”
“Is there any chance you brought me here because you want to run into him?”
She considered the idea, but shook her head, leaning her back against Adam’s chest. The temperature had lowered from the hot day at the baseball field. It was still warm enough for Trish to be comfortable in her strapless dress, but his body heat against her bare skin felt nice. “I saw him a couple of weeks ago—with his new girlfriend. I’ve apparently got some residual anger about the way he broke up with me, but no part of me wants to get back together with him.”
“Then why are we here?” Adam murmured into her ear.
“For this.” She swept an arm over the railing, gesturing toward the sky. “Showing you the sunset is the only reason, I swear. I never felt forever with him; end of story.”
Adam’s light exhale tickled Trish’s shoulder. “I’m glad for you that you can see things so clearly. Staying with the wrong person can end up being more lonely than being alone.”
“Sounds like you learned that one the hard way.”
“I did.”
Orange relinquished more and more of its claim on the sky. The massive smudge of color stained the clouds stormy gray even while their cottony edges flamed. Adam dropped a hand from the railing to wrap his arm around Trish’s waist.
She started at his touch and tilted her head to look at him. As soon as her eyes locked on his, he dropped his arm and shifted his gaze away from her to look across the wide deck toward the lake. The brilliant blue in the east had darkened to midnight. She turned her whole body to be front-to-front with him. Touching her hand to the side of his face, she brought his focus back to her. She was done waiting for him to make a move.
“I know you said it was best to not get physical,” she said, noting the faint press of new stubble against her palm. “But I hope kisses don’t count because I’m going to kiss you, Mr. Helms. If that goes well, I don’t plan to stop until your face turns purple and you’re gasping for air.”
He didn’t move or say anything to dissuade her, but a terrified flash raced across his eyes—now made coppery under the scorched heavens. Trish plastered her mouth against his. She’d take away his fear. She’d pull him up to the surface of his melancholy sea and breathe lightness into him.
His mouth was stiff, but she touched her coaxing lips to his again and again until he relented. He was gentle, almost timid, but at the first graze of her tongue against his, he lunged into her. One of his hands splayed across her bare back and the other claimed the base of her spine, pulling her against him. His kiss became ravenous, nearly desperate.
Tasting his need fueled Trish’s desire to satisfy him. Their frenzied mouths moved against each other. Only half aware of what the rest of her body was doing, she raked her fingers through the back of his sculpted hair and coiled a leg around him.
The muted sound of the latch engaging at the rooftop entrance recalled them to reality. She lowered her thigh, and they pulled their mouths apart but continued to hold each other close. His heavy breath cooled the wetness coating her lips.
“Is my face purple enough for you?” he murmured as a boisterous group emerged onto the roof.
Trish laughed, leaning in to rest the side of her face against his. “I’m not through with you, Mr. Helms.”
Uncategorized

ACED (Blocked #2) Review Tour #NA #Sports #Romance

Early reviews for ACED have been fantastic! *dances*

“Lord forgive me for I have sinned and lusted over the hottie known as ALEJANDRO. Yup, dibs he’s all mine, chicas.”
~Nelly from Romance Bytes

“The plot is so well paced, I was reading until the wee hours of the morning.”
~Karie from My Reading Reality

“Blocked captivated my attention from start to finish and Aced does not disappoint. Hotheaded Alejandro meets his match in stubborn and confident Maddie.”
~Aaliyah from Goodreads


If you want to meet Alejandro, please join us for the review tour starting December 2 (release day). Reviewers who post on Amazon on release day enter a special $25 gift card giveaway.

Here are the amazing blogs and Facebook pages that have signed up:

Wednesday, December 2

Bookworm221 Review of Aced 


Chrissy’s Book Blog Series Review of Blocked and Aced

TOJ Publishing Services Release Day Post

Christine Wilson Campbell Series Review of Blocked and Aced

Aayilah Review of Aced

Shirley’s Book Shelf Special Post

Book’s Minion Review of Aced



Thursday, December 3

Books Can Take You There Series Review of Blocked and Aced

Jeanette Book Reviews Review of Aced


Friday, December 4

My Book Snack Review of Aced

Shelf Infatuation Book Blog Series Review of Blocked and Aced

Digital Dirty Girl Book Blog Promo Post



Saturday, December 5

A Crazy Vermonter’s Book Reviews Series Review of Blocked and Aced


Monday, December 7

My Reading Reality Series Review of Blocked and Aced

Confessions of a YA and NA Book Addict Review of Aced

Bookish Wanderlove Review of Aced

Andrea’s Book Blog Review of Aced

Lisa Gallant Review of Aced

Reader for Life Review of Aced


Tuesday, December 8

Amazeballs Book Addicts Series Review of Blocked and Aced



Wednesday, December 9

Country Girl Book Blog Series Review of Blocked and Aced


Thursday, December 10

Hurricane Girl’s Book Blog Series Review of Blocked and Aced

Escape N Books Review of Aced

LeeAnn’s Reviews Review of Aced


Friday, December 11

RoloPolo Book Blog Review of Aced



Saturday, December 12

Linda Levine Review of Aced




Monday, December 14


Ashley Book Blog Series Review of Blocked and Aced

Turning Another Page Review of Aced


Wednesday, December 16

My Reading Reality Series Review of Blocked and Aced

Jazzy Book Reviews Special Post


Thursday, December 17
Besties and Books Series Review of Blocked and Aced

Friday, December 18

Hot Guys in Books Review of Aced

Read, Review, Repeat Release Post

AbFab Book Blog Series Review of Blocked and Aced

Chubbyholic Reads Series Review of Blocked and Aced

Sweet & Spicy Reads Series Review of Blocked and Aced

Elle’s Friends and Books Series Review of Blocked and Aced

Reviews by Reds Series Review of Blocked and Aced

Kiss N’ Tale Book Blog Review of Aced

Cupcakes and Vodka Blog Series Review of Blocked and Aced


Thank you for being part of the tour! *hugs*

American readers, enter the Goodreads giveaway for Aced.

.goodreadsGiveawayWidget { color: #555; font-family: georgia, serif; font-weight: normal; text-align: left; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; background: white; } .goodreadsGiveawayWidget p { margin: 0 0 .5em !important; padding: 0; } .goodreadsGiveawayWidgetEnterLink { display: inline-block; color: #181818; background-color: #F6F6EE; border: 1px solid #9D8A78; border-radius: 3px; font-family: “Helvetica Neue”, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: bold; text-decoration: none; outline: none; font-size: 13px; padding: 8px 12px; } .goodreadsGiveawayWidgetEnterLink:hover { color: #181818; background-color: #F7F2ED; border: 1px solid #AFAFAF; text-decoration: none; }

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Aced by Jennifer Lane

Aced

by Jennifer Lane

Giveaway ends December 31, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Uncategorized

Review: BREAKING FAITH by @HeyitsmeJoy #romance

Breaking Faith
Breaking Faith by Joy Eileen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Killer Characterization

I met author Joy Eileen on Twitter, where she seems fun and passionate. I’m not surprised her debut novel shares the same qualities.

Faith attends college and works at a coffee shop on campus when she meets hunky Jason, her “knight in coffee justice”. Despite the niggling discomfort she feels in Jason’s presence, they end up moving in together, and his control over her becomes complete. She tiptoes around trying to avoid his wrath, but he is the one responsible for cutting her down with his words and fists.

When she can’t take it anymore, she escapes to meet her friends at a bar where a local band, The Jackholes, plays. Faith feels drawn the the lead singer, Killian. She jumps into help the harried waitress, in the process revealing her bruised arms (to her friends’ horror). Kill gets Faith a job as server and a home at his place, to keep her safe from Jason.

Most of the time I dislike scruffy, tatted heroes, but Kill is a dream man. He’s not a boorish alpha by any means. His reputation as a man ho goes out the window once he meets Faith. Faith can’t deny her attraction to him, but is wary of getting hurt again. He had a sweet, vulnerable side to him he kept hidden. It was because of that side, I needed to avoid him. I already determined he would break my heart if I didn’t stay away.

Their banter is hilarious.

We walked to a huge monstrous black truck. I had to practically pole vault into the cab. “Nice truck. Overcompensating?” I asked, glancing at the juncture between his legs.

Kill’s laugh was amazing. The rumbling in his chest made my traitorous nipples harden.

Kill is spot on when he tells Faith:

“As your friend I have to say you have an uncanny knack for attracting the biggest poseurs, douche bags, and tools. You’re like a beacon.” Kill looked up to the ceiling as if he was praying for patience. “You know you look hot. It’s like you added an extra strength light bulb to your douche beacon. Every douche for miles will be lined up.”

The unresolved sexual tension between Faith and Kill about killed me. I grew to care about Faith and want good things for her.

I did have some quibbles about this book. It needs tightening of the plot and exposition. For how long it is, I expected more resolution of major plot lines. I don’t mind cliffhangers but I think it would work better to include the excerpt of the next book as the ending of this one, to give readers some relief from the UST.

A fun, readable debut romance!

View all my reviews

Check out the Facebook release party–giveaways close August 21. 

Uncategorized

THE ROSIE PROJECT by Don Tillman: #Review


My book club chose a wonderful read for June: The Rosie Project. Here’s my review:


The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1)The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Man with Asperger’s Delightful Journey to Love

Books like these make me appreciate my book club even more because I probably wouldn’t have tried it without my friend Colby picking it this month.

Don Tillman is a 39-year-old genetics professor in Australia who knows he is socially inept but doesn’t know he has a raging case of Autism Spectrum Disorder. He would like to date but his difficulties with emotions and subtleties of interactions have made that difficult. Being the scientist he is, he decides to write a questionnaire for potential partners he dubs “The Wife Project”. He believes his data driven approach will weed out unsuitable candidates.

He’s friends with a married psychologist couple, Gene and Claudia, and they try to help him sort out these puzzling social interactions. Sadly, Gene and Claudia are his only friends.

When Don attends a dating event, his unique perceptions of the world are hilarious.

Olivia resumed talking to me while the others engaged in small talk — an extraordinary waste of time when a major life decision was at stake. On Claudia’s advice, I had memorized the questionnaire. She thought that asking questions directly from the forms could create the wrong “dynamic” and that I should attempt to incorporate them subtly into conversation, Subtlety, I had reminded her, is not my strength. She suggested that I not ask about sexually transmitted diseases and that I make my own estimates of weight, height, and body mass index. I estimated Olivia’s BMI at nineteen; slim, but no signs of anorexia.

Every time Don meets someone new, he mentally calculates their BMI. BA HA HA! I’ve met quite a few characters through dating but I’ve never had one come out and ask me my BMI–Don would totally do that if not for Claudia’s advice.

Don’s friend Gene sets him up with Rosie, a “barmaid”. Rosie comes over for dinner prepared by the excellent cook Don.

I commenced retrieval of vegetables and herbs from the refrigerator. “Let me help,” Rosie said. “I can chop or something.” The implication was that chopping could be done by an inexperienced person unfamiliar with the recipe. After her comment that she was unable to cook even in a life-threatening situation, I had visions of huge chunks of leek and fragments of herbs too fine to sieve out.

Once Don discovers Rosie smokes and runs late, he automatically discards her as a candidate for The Wife Project. But when Rosie tells him she’s trying to discover the identity of her biological father, geneticist Don is suddenly all in to helping her with The Father Project.

They narrow down potential fathers based on her mother’s medical school class, and proceed to obtain DNA samples from over fifty men in a madcap manner.

Don eventually learns that Rosie is a doctoral psychology student who’s smarter than she seems. Don and Rosie test a sample from one probable father.

“But I’ve never consciously thought of him as my father.”

“He’s not,” I said.

The results had come up on the computer screen. Job complete. I began packing up.

“Wow,” said Rosie. “Ever thought of being a grief counselor?”

“No. I considered a number of careers, but all in the sciences. My interpersonal skills are not strong.”

Rosie burst out laughing.

Don is just so damn endearing! The funniest scene is when Don and Rosie pose as bartenders at a medical school reunion in order to swab cocktail glasses. Memorizing orders and drink recipes is where computer-mind Don excels, and he performs so well that the bar owner wants to go into business with him.

Equally funny is when Don wants to woo a ballroom dancing champion, so he practices his dance moves with a skeleton from a nearby lab. When he tests out his dance moves in front of a crowd, he learns Unfortunately, this requires cooperation on the part of the partner, particularly if she is heavier than a skeleton.

When Don decides he would like to have sex with Rosie, he talks it over with Gene:

“So why the stress?” said Gene. “You have had sex before?”

“Of course,” I said. “It’s just that adding a second person makes it more complicated.”

“Naturally, said Gene. “I should have thought of that. Why not get a book?”

So Don buys a book and memorizes all the sexual positions. Naturally, he brings out the skeleton again for practice, and naturally, the dean walks into his office while Don is getting into compromising positions on the floor with the skeleton. *laughs*

In addition to the charming humor, there’s some depth to this story about love and growth. I definitely want to read the sequel. Highly recommended.

View all my reviews

Uncategorized

MISSING MELISSA by @AlrethaThomas : #Review #Interview & #Giveaway


Welcome to author Alretha Thomas! I enjoyed her recent release Missing Melissa–check out my four star review. Then I interview Alretha, and end with a giveaway.

Missing MelissaMissing Melissa by Alretha Thomas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Missing Twin Haunts Her Sister’s Dreams

Maddie is a gorgeous blond twenty-two-year-old about to start her career in broadcast journalism when she has a dream. A disturbing dream. She dreams her twin sister, who went missing when they were three years old, is still alive, and needs Maddie’s help.

Her parents don’t want to re-open the case, fearing they will crack open old wounds. But are they hiding something?

I thought this was a well-written mystery. Where is Melissa? Is she alive? Has she been hurt? There’s misdirection that prevented me from guessing the ending.

Maddie’s surrounded by some fun, opinionated characters, like her best friend Ruby and her dog Pepper.

I wish I didn’t have a missing sister. I wish everything was normal. But Ruby says normal is a setting on a washing machine and not what our lives are supposed to be.

Amen, Ruby! And I love Maddie’s dog Pepper. That dog’s got a lot of sass.

I remember when my parents surprised me with Pepper five years ago. He was a baby, so small and cute. I wanted to dress him up, too. I’ll never forget approaching him with an adorable pullover sweater. He snatched it with his teeth and ripped it to pieces. That was the end of any ideas about dressing up Pepper.

Ha! Maddie meets Detective Sam while pursuing her missing sister. He’s a hottie who’s sweet and steady.

”Well, one good thing has come out of all of this,” Ruby says.

“What’s that?” Sam and I ask at the same time.

“I finally got to meet Sexy Sam.”

I narrow my eyes at Ruby and try to change the subject. “So, where do we go from here?” I ask.

“No, not so fast,” Sam says. “What’s this Sexy Sam all about?” he asks, laughing.

While I loved the plot, I didn’t find the dialogue realistic. It seemed dated and cheesy to me. Characters speak in long paragraphs, and call each other by their full names to chastise each other ”Madeleine Louise Patterson!” 

I am glad I had the opportunity to read this page turner, which ends on a hopeful note.


View all my reviews


And now for the interview:


Jennifer Lane (JL): Welcome to the blog, Alretha, Many of us are fascinated by the special bond between twins. What drew you into writing a twin story in Missing Melissa?

Alretha Thomas (AT): Thank you for this opportunity, Jennifer. Like a lot of people, I also have had a fascination with twins. It started in childhood. My mother and aunt looked so much alike, I would have sworn that they were twins, and I was terribly disappointed when I learned they weren’t. I was thinking about this around the time the idea to write Missing Melissa came to me. I was also reflecting on my mother’s untimely death. My mother passed away at the young age of 36. I was 14. My cousin told me that my aunt was devastated when my mother died. So those two thoughts inspired me to write Missing Melissa. I wanted to explore how the loss of a close sibling can affect the surviving sibling.

JL: I’m so sad to hear about your mother’s death at a young age. One of my favorite characters is Pepper the dog. Do you have a dog? Other pets?

AT: Jennifer, I am so glad you like Pepper! I love Pepper. When my husband read the opening to the book he felt Pepper had too big of a role, no pun intended (he’s a mastiff). I purposely made Pepper somewhat of a secondary character because in a way he filled the hole that was left by the missing twin. Ironically, I didn’t grow up with a dog and I’m allergic to cats. My husband and I have been vacillating about getting a dog. No one wants to do the clean-up (smile). But we both love dogs and think they’re adorable. For the past month, my husband’s been feeding a bird that comes by from time-to-time and even the neighborhood Bobcat. I think we’re inching our way to getting a pet! BTW we have a ton of stuffed pets—turtles, rabbits, bears, and even a Kangaroo!

JL: I also loved the character of Ruby, Maddie’s sassy best friend. How have your real-life friendships become part of this fictional relationship?

AT: Yes, Ruby is one of my favorites as well. I love the relationship she and Maddie have and yes, friendships I’ve had over the years did influence Maddie and Ruby’s relationship. Like Maddie, I’ve only had one best friend at a time. I’ve never had a group of girlfriends. That’s probably why Maddie only has one close girlfriend. Writing the two of them was somewhat nostalgic because their relationship reminded me of a fourteen-year relationship I had that went awry right after I got married. Like Maddie and Ruby, we were close and the feelings we had for each other were unconditional. Actually, this friend was there when I meant my future husband. I truly believe that I may not have given as much as my friend did in the relationship at the time because I was going through some challenging times. I believe I may have drained her. But by the time I realized this it was too late.

JL: I notice Missing Melissa is your eighth novel, and your other books include a contemporary romance series staring with Married in the Nick of Nine. What’s next for you?

AT: Missing Melissa is my debut Mystery novel! Yes, I started out with a romance series that I call The Cass & Nick series: Married in the Nick of Nine, The Baby in the Window, One Harte, Two Loves, and Renee’s Return. I had a blast writing those books. I hope readers have an opportunity to check them out as well. That series is complete. Depending on how well Missing Melissa does, I’d love to write the sequel and I have some ideas percolating. Of course, all the main characters will return, including Pepper!

JL: Wow, I would’ve never guessed it was your first mystery. Thank you for stopping by and best of luck with your writing!

AT: It’s been great speaking with you Jennifer. 



GIVEAWAY

Alretha has generously offered to gift two readers with e-copies of the first book in the Cass & Nick series: Married in the Nick of Nine.

To enter, leave a comment on this post with your email address.